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Public calls for road spending to be priority

Roads should be the top priority for government investment in infrastructure, according to a public poll.

Spending on roads was seen as more important than public transport in the survey conducted for the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

The poll showed that after roads and public transport, the third most-important infrastructure public service for investment was disposal of rubbish and waste, followed by drinking water and sewage.

Nearly half (49%) of the 1,009 people polled placed roads at the top of the investment list, with 40% listing public transport as their first or second priority.

The ICE said road investment had seen much greater public support following the bad weather last winter which left many roads in a poor condition.

ICE vice president Geoff French added that the condition of roads was not the only problem.

He went on: “Congestion also remains a public frustration and will continue to be unless we manage demand at peak times and provide public transport alternatives to private car usage.

“We know Government has some tough decisions to make in order to reduce the huge budget deficit.

“However, we remain hopeful that it recognises the value of continued investment in all our public services and networks – from roads, public transport, energy supply and waste facilities right through to flood defences and water infrastructure.

“Our quality of life, our economic recovery and the transition to a low carbon economy, depends on the provision of first-class infrastructure.”

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